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Malaysia and Vietnam must unite against China, not fight each other

Beijing's brazen opportunism should unify ASEAN in South China Sea

| Malaysia
Lan Tay gas platform operated by Rosneft Vietnam in the South China Sea, pictured in April 2018: Malaysia pursues unilateral energy exploration activities in areas claimed by both China and Vietnam.   © Reuters

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

Given Vietnam's long history of resistance to China, many saw its chairmanship of ASEAN this year as a unique opportunity to assert the rights of smaller nations in the South China Sea.

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